Aby-a-Day – 17 May: Finding Marlin (Cartoon Tuesday)

I was at a NEMO meeting this past weekend, and spent most of it drawing. I working up a new version of our mascot, Marlin, for this year’s show.

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That drawing isn’t finished yet, but I was reminded of these drawings of Marlin. The ones with the fish were done for a “Finding Nemo” scavenger hunt-type game we played at shows, and the one of Marlin as a kitten was done as an idea for kids’ activities…but I never did anything with it. I think I didn’t think Marlin looked “kittenish” enough, but didn’t ever get around to redrawing him or even colouring him in. Perhaps some day…

Aby-a-Day – 12 April: My first wedding – Part 2 (Cartoon Tuesday)

Last week, I posted the cartoon I did for the holiday card I sent out just before I got married to my first husband.

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This is the drawing I did on the invitation. Again, Harri the Siamese is prominently featured. I sent Björn and his then-fiancee an invitation…but they weren’t able to attend.

Aby-a-Day – 5 April: My first wedding – Part 1 (Cartoon Tuesday)

Despite meeting Björn in 1992, he will be my – gasp! – third husband! My first husband and I were both members of the Society for Creative Anachronism, and we got married in medieval garb. Our wedding was held on New Year’s Eve; we had the reception first and then got married just before midnight. The SCA’s big holiday celebration (and dress-up event) is Twelfth Night, and in the West Kingdom it’s typically held the first Saturday in January.

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This was my Christmas/12th Night card to our friends in 1992, and of course I sent one to Björn. He recently found it and, since we’re getting married in less than two weeks, I thought I’d share it because it also shows my Siamese, Harri. Harri actually came to the wedding as Best Cat and had a wonderful time. Harri was actually quite the party cat – I think he and Jacoby would have been great friends.

Aby-a-Day – 23 January: “Cat” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

This week’s Photo Hunt subject is “Cat.”

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Wow. I just don’t know what to do with words like this.

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While I was in Skövde, Björn and I visited our friend Tess, and her two cats Målle & Saga, a five-year-old brother and sister tabby pair. Målle is a big, goofy boycat, red classic tabby and white, who reminded me a lot of Jacoby.
He came right up to the door to greet us and when he wasn’t stampeding up and down the stairs, he was hanging out with us. Björn took photos of me with him and his sister.

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“Oh, a finger!”

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“Use it to pet me!”

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Målle was quite a character.

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His sister Saga was a little more reserved. She’s a petite little brown mackerel tabby and white.

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She was still very friendly, though. It was nice to have some attention from kitties around Jake’s age!

Aby-a-Day – 22 January: Cats and Magpies (Fashion Friday)

Björn’s mother is an artist; her home is filled with paintings she’s done as well as artwork done by others.

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In fact, she painted this portrait of Oskar the cat on the mailbox.

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It’s actually painted on a metal plate, which is changed according to the seasons.

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She has these two woodblock prints by Swedish artist Sven Ljundberg that I instantly fell in love with when I saw them. After yesterday’s post, you know why…

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They are marvelous.

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Björn’s mother doesn’t speak much English, and my Swedish is…progressing…but we bonded over a mutual love of art, cats and magpies.

She even gave me a copy of this postcard, featuring another version of his cat and magpie theme.

Besides Sven Ljungberg’s prints, paintings and sculptures, he also published a limited edition book with his Katt och Skata prints, of which only 990 copies were printed in 1976. His home village, Ljungby, has a museum dedicated to his art, and you can see a virtual tour of some of the pieces online.

Aby-a-Day – 8 January: The Jólakötturinn (Fashion Friday)

I know this isn’t, technically, an Abyssinian, but I had to share the awesomeness that is the Jólakötturinn. I first learned about the Icelandic Jul Cat from Scandinavia and the World, but it was really amazing to see it in person.

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I flew IcelandAir when I went to Sweden, and changed planes in Reykjavik. And while changing planes, of course, I had to check out the shops. It was hilarious. There were these charming, festive holiday displays full of little red and white tomten (Santa-like creatures), snowflakes, snowmen, angels…

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…and then this big angry black cat. A CHRISTMASSY big angry black cat.

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The legend says that the Jólakötturinn will eat anyone who does not get new clothes for Christmas. Suddenly, Santa stalking you and watching you while you’re sleeping and knowing about you being naughty or nice doesn’t seem so creepy, does it?

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And despite being a ravenous, child-devouring feline, he seems pretty popular. This is a wine bottle coozy in the shape of a Jul Cat.

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There’s also a set of Yule Lads figures that includes the Jólakötturinn. The Yule Lads are sort of elves who leave rewards and punishments (depending on whether you’ve been naughty or nice) in your shoes in the days leading up to Christmas.

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And then, if you didn’t get new clothes, you’re cat chow.

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I suspect the Jólakötturinn tradition was started by a parent who was tired of hearing his kids whine when they got socks and underwear on Christmas morning.

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Don’t get any ideas, Jacoby!

Aby-a-Day – December 24: “Does Björn like cats?”

One thing people always ask me when I’m talking about Björn is, “Does he like cats?” Now, when I get this question, part of me wants to say, “Are you kidding me, as if I’d be with a guy who didn’t like cats!”

But let me answer this in a better way. In 1999, Björn and his then-girlfriend fostered a litter of barn kittens.

There were five of them, but only four went on to other homes. Pyret, which is Swedish for “little mite,” stayed with them.

She was so tiny, Björn had to bottle-feed her.

He had to take her along to SCA events, too, so she’d be fed. (I personally think this is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen).

When she was younger, Björn would take her places with him. This is her on the top of a door at Björn’s parents’ house in Jönköping.

She and Björn have been together for almost her whole life.

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This photo is from when I visited Björn in 2000. As you can see, she grew into a lovely young lady!

Here we are, cuddling on the sofa together watching The Fast Show.

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Björn and Titti also had a tortie named Olivia. Sadly, Olivia died in 2010 from kidney failure.

This is Björn and Olivia waiting for a train in Skövde. Oh, look, a cat guy with his cat!

It’s hard to believe that Pyret is 16 years old now! Having been a bottle-fed kitten, she and Björn share a special bond. She frequently checks in during our FaceTime conversations.

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I don’t know if she remembered me when she saw me again on Sunday, but she didn’t treat me like a complete stranger when we got reacquainted.

She may have wished she had, though…because unfortunately for Pyret, though, I happened to see Lorenzo the Cat’s Facebook post about what happens when humans have no snow at Christmastime. Well, we don’t have any more snow in Sweden right now than anyplace else, and Pyret made the mistake of lying on her back…

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…so, I may or may not have found some black cardboard in the recycle bin…

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…and I may or may not have borrowed Kalle’s Santa hat, and this may or may not have happened…Lucky for me she’s a patient old lady!